window of opportunity

What has been cooking within?

Memories and feelings over the years
have formed an “I” that seems so solid
But just as the walls of a house form
a protected space where people live,
this “I” merely provides a platform
for the experience of life.

The body has a shape and a form
and seems so important.
But like a cooking pot,
it is the space inside that is important.
The body is a mere pot.
What has been cooking within
all these years?

I picked up The Sage’s Tao Te Ching – A New Interpretation – Ancient Advice for the Second Half of Life by William Martin.  He writes in the Introduction that “without the reemergence of the sage as the model for older people, we’re in ever-greater danger of trivializing ourselves into further decay and decline.”

The verse above is #11, my favourite verse in any translation of the Tao Te Ching.  In fact, it’s the litmus of a translation, the window into the soul of the Tao.  Martin goes on to write:

The time has come to redefine ourselves.
We are not our memories,
important though they are.
We are not our bodies,
familiar though they are.
There is something else here,
mysterious and elusive.
What is it?

It is time to remove the bars from the windows.  Time to step through, step over the sill into the life we have.

Thank you for practising,


5 thoughts on “window of opportunity

  1. this is lovely and very timely for me. this solid story of self we create, this pot, this body that holds it all, the stories I tell myself about the pot create solidity too. to remember on a constant basis to let the self be more ethereal than we are used to, than we like. the solidity is about our habitual grab for control, solid ground, I think.

    you always have the best books!

  2. I love this version, so clear pointing to the Spaciousness of the “Mystery” within, the Life within the life, within the story, within the body, that is being lived; not living in resignation, but remembering the “Something” that is living us… Thank you!

  3. Pingback: Tao Te Ching (în română) – Cartea despre Cale și Virtute |

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